It’s inevitable. I get insomnia when I need to sleep.

It’s funky, erratic sleep the night before any heart-related doctor’s appointments for Ellis.  I can’t pinpoint one worry, but a general sense of fear overcomes me. Other concerns that prevent continuous sleep: I’ll oversleep; I’ll be stuck in bay area traffic and miss the appointment entirely; I’ll hear upsetting news; I’ll need to be extra patient with Ellis and attentive throughout the long appointments; I’ll get hangry and run out of coffee; I’ll take at least a day to recover.

The other night I was wide wake at 3 a.m., slept a couple of hours, and woke up at 6 a.m. We were due for a follow-up ENT appointment. With her vocal chord paresis after her heart surgery last fall, extra air passes through the vocal chord making her voice sound raspy and hoarse; also, liquid could sneak into the trachea making it possible for infections and pneumonia.

I dreaded this appointment because it involves pushing a thin camera tube down her nose. While in her nose, she’ll need to make certain sounds and take sips of green dye liquid. It’s uncomfortable and frightening for both of us.

She sits on my lap face-forward and I wrap my arms tightly around her. A nurse stands behind to hold her head still. She acts brave and giggles more than normal, but her dry heaving afterwards tells me otherwise. When the thin camera tip touches her nose, she bursts into a loud cry. Even in her hysteria, she asks “done?,” “be fast.”

These moments jolt me out of complacency. Suddenly, the daily things that irritate me become unimportant; all that matters is comforting this little frightened person. When I mutter “Oh dear Jesus,{” it’s not me taking the Lord’s name in vain. It’s a panicked soul plea; an SOS to Jesus.

If we’re not overly tired, we stop at Nordstrom just blocks away from the hospital. Ellis agrees to go, but she tells me to get the stroller. Looking at pretty things and sitting outside their outdoor cafe revives our wearied spirits and makes our day happier. It amazes me how quickly we forget the pain until next time.

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Colorful blooms at the Stanford mall…forgot to take one outside Nordstrom

 

One thought on “It’s inevitable. I get insomnia when I need to sleep.

  1. Aw, a mother’s heart is such a beautiful thing – your insomnia is just your heart aching and wishing you could take away what scares both of you. Hugs to you – she’s lucky she has you there to protect her!

    Like

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